So, the word has been out about the new fairy tales that have been discovered in Germany. A blog post about this from us is long overdue, huh? We’ve received so many emails about this since the initial announcement in March. Those of you who haven’t heard yet, it’s true! Five hundred new fairy tales were discovered. The tales are part of a collection gathered by historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth at about the same time as the Grimm brothers were collecting their own fairy tales. Read the article made by the Guardian post.
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First off, I have to thank you wonderful readers for pointing me to Robin McKinley. I never would have stumbled across her work if you hadn’t all been discussing Deerskin while All Fur has been posting to the site. Rest assured, I plan to read Deerskin as soon as I return from Anime Boston this coming weekend. It’s sitting on my desk begging me to dive into it.
“Cannot a Beast be tamed?”
Beauty by Robin McKinley is a lovely retelling of Beauty and the Beast. One of the things I really liked about the story was that rather than change the story it just enhanced the original with more depth and richness.
As usual, I love the fact that Beauty is such a strong and courageous female character who has more going on in her life than JUST romance. She has a personality and comes off as very likeable. I found it a fun twist that “Beauty” as she is nicknamed was a very plain looking girl who did not have to be beautiful on the outside to have the beauty on the inside win her the heart of the lead (Beast).
I think the only thing I found that bothered me was the ending. It was a GOOD ending and followed the original tale. However, it seemed to happen all to fast. The story had a lovely pacing and lead up to the climax, but it felt like it was over too soon. I wanted a wedding and a little sweet kissing for the couple! I demand MORE romance!
Also, though I hate to judge a book by it’s cover, it really is the first thing that sells a book to a potential reader. It has to catch your eye! I have to admit that if I had been in the bookstore and saw this on the shelf I would have passed it by. The cover of all of McKinley’s books are really boring and I wish there would be some romantic or enticing cover art to catch me. Maybe it’s just the reprints of the books. It makes me wonder how many other great books I am missing because the cover art isn’t called to me from the store bookshelves.
Overall, I enjoyed this book greatly and couldn’t put it down. I am very excited to read the other fairytale retellings and see how McKinley fairs.
“Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the woman she thought was her mother.
Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall.
And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.”
Before there was Disney’s Tangled, with Rapunzel using her long locks, there was Rapunzel’s Revenge! Despite it’s dark-sounding title, it’s quite the lighthearted adventure. It’s a fantastic twist on the old tale with plenty of swashbuckling action. You heard me right, swashbuckling. Rapunzel gets to venture out into a wild west style world where she teams up with Jack (from the Beanstalk) to try to free her kingdom from evil.
The story starts out a little slow as the buildup of the characters and the world is established, but it’s a very nice introduction. One of the things I really liked about the beginning is when Mother Gothel puts her in the tree tower. Everything in the tree grows at an excellerated rate, so it grows fruits for her every day… and makes her hair grow as well. I just felt like it was a neat way to show the magic that creates her long hair! Rapunzel proves to be a strong female lead. She doesn’t wait to be saved from the tower. Instead, she frees herself and begins her quest. She even uses her long braids as rope and lariats in sticky situations. Once she joins up with Jack, the fun really picks up pace and their adventures are a great treat. He’s not quite a strait-laced guy, so it seems like he gets into trouble a bit too often. Luckily, Rapunzel is there to help him out.
Overall, I think the western theme works really well in some strange way. The graphic novel is a great read for pre-teens and adults alike. You can pick up a copy of Rapunzel’s Revenge at Amazon.com
Fans of Castle, Nathan Fillion, and/or folks who just like to see TV shows give nods to fairy tales themes, this week’s Castle episode has a fairy tale theme. “Once Upon a Crime – When two women are found dead dressed as fairytale characters, Castle and Beckett must race to find the killer before he strikes again.”
Castle is a crime drama-comedy series following Richard Castle (played by Nathan Fillion), fabulously popular crime novel author who shadows NYPD Detective Kate Beckett as research for his next book series. Of course, Beckett is completely annoyed by his presence at first, but slowly warms up to him as he proves himself useful. It’s a fun, playful story that really highlights Fillion’s awesomely twinkle-in-his-eye yeah-I-went-there humor. You can catch Castle on ABC Monday nights at 10pm.
Convention news: Gina will be appearing at MomoCon in Atlanta, GA on March 16-18. You will find her set up in the Dealer’s Room with lots of cool merchandise. She will also have some Erstwhile promo bookmarks. If you’re going to be at the convention, stop by the booth and pick one up.